This Healthy Apple Pie recipe is an absolute must for your holiday parties – or really any party! It uses simple delicious ingredients, is incredibly easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time! Trust me, this is the apple pie recipe you’ve been waiting for.
I’ve been making this healthy apple pie recipe for about 2 years now. Honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to share it, but here it is.
Originally, I found this apple pie recipe over at Cooking Light. It’s funny because the best banana bread recipe I make also originated from Cooking Light. Apparently they know how to do lightened-up sweets right.
Over the years I’ve made some changes, and learned some tricks, to make this the easiest most delicious healthy apple pie recipe. So, before I jump into the recipe let’s go over some common questions and my apple pie “lessons learned”.
What are the best apples for apple pie?
I’ve made this apple pie recipe about 20+ times using all kinds of apples. I’ve used Gala, Mcintosh, Pink Ladies, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples. My favorite apples to bake an apple pie with are Fuji apples. Of course, this might be a personal preference but I find Fuji’s to have the best texture and flavor. Fuji apples are firm and sweet.
This is the apple Cooking Light originally recommended and, after testing out different varieties, Fujis are the ones I prefer too.
However, if you can’t find Fuji apples then using a Honeycrisp or Gala apple would be my next two choices. Granny Smiths are good if you’re looking for more of a tart flavor but I’d mix it with others because I feel it could be too tart if used alone in a pie. Granny Smith apples are my favorite to eat but Fuji’s are my favorite to bake pie with.
How many pounds of apples make an apple pie?
This apple pie recipe needs about 3lbs of apples. Of course a little more or less isn’t going to make a huge difference. Although, if you fill it up too high it might bubble over so make sure to have a pan under the pie as it bakes to collect any apple pie “drippings”.
I can find 3lb bags of organic Fuji Apples at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. I also get 5lb bags of Fuji apples at BJ’s wholesale. When I get this bag I’ll use the rest in freezer smoothie kits.
Can I make a healthy apple pie recipe with premade pie crust?
Yes, of course! I know many people really turn their nose up at premade crusts but I’m not one of them. Yes making crust is easy – well kind of. But you know what’s easier? Purchasing already made from the store! Now I don’t think all premade store-bought crust are created equal. I guess this is where I’ll get a little snobby. Just like I’ve tried this healthy pie recipe with different apples, I’ve also tried a bunch of different store-bought crusts. I’ve tried Pillsbury, Aldi’s brand, Wegman’s brand, a few organic brands I found, and Trader’s Joe’s.
What’s the best store-bought pie crust?
The best store-bought pie crust hands down is Trader Joes. In my opinion, Trader Joe’s taste the most homemade. It’s easy to handle and bakes up buttery and flakey. I think it’s absolutely delicious and every person that’s tried this healthy apple pie recipe is ALWAYS shocked when I disclose the crust is store-bought!
Trader Joe’s pie crust is one of the items I pick up anytime I make a Trader Joe’s run. I stick it in the freezer and then just take it out to thaw in the refrigerator the night before I’m going to make pie. I’ve used this pie crust for chocolate pie too and it works great.
If you’ve been searching for the best store-bought pie crust then pick up a package of Trader Joe’s pie crust. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Here are some other healthy apple pie tricks I’ve learned:
- Microwave the sliced apples for about 4-5 minutes before mixing with the caramel sauce and putting into the pie shell. This cooks the apples a little bit prior to baking. I find this helpful because then the crust and apples cook at the same pace. When I put the apples in raw I notice the crust is cooking faster than the apples and then I stand there staring at the oven praying the crust doesn’t burn. Cooking the apples for a little in the microwave eliminates this concern.
- Keep an eye on the apple pie as it cooks. Apple pie is not one of those recipes you can stick into the oven and then go clean for an hour. Sometimes the crust cooks fast and other times it doesn’t cook fast enough. I cook the apple pie for 60 minutes and then around 30 minutes I’ll place a sheet of foil loosely over the top of the crust. These keeps the crust from burning.
- Let the pie sit for about 10 minutes after it’s out of the oven. This helps firm it up and makes the pie easier to cut and serve.
- If you have an abundance of apples you can slice and freeze apples to use in a future pie. Here’s my How to Freeze Apples tutorial with full instructions. Just make sure to thaw and drain before using in this apple pie recipe.
- This specific healthy apple pie recipe uses a salted caramel sauce for the filling. It is super good. However, if you want a more traditional apple pie then only use a very small pinch of salt and then mix in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in with the apples during the flour step. I’ve done it both ways and both are delicious.
- You can freeze this apple pie into slices after it bakes. My oldest daughter LOVES this apple pie recipe so I make it at least once a month or so. However, I don’t think it’s good to eat an entire apple pie in a weekend so after it cools I’ll stick it in the refrigerator overnight to really firm it up. Then I’ll cut into slices, wrap each slice in plastic wrap, and then freeze. When my daughter (or myself) wants a slice we take it out of the freezer and let it thaw for a 1/2 hour or so on the counter. Or we stick it in the microwave to warm up. Either way it taste delish!
- I know a lot of people freeze whole apple pies but I haven’t had much luck with this recipe. It might just be this recipe because it uses a sauce. Anyway, I’ll update with freezer tips as I learn how to freeze apple pies.
Here’s a list of supplies for making healthy apple pie
Box grater – you need this to grate some of the apples.
Healthy Apple Pie
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425. While the oven heats up get the apples ready. First, grate enough apples (about 2) to get about 1 cup of grated apple. Cut the rest of the apples into 4 sections (throw out the core) and slice the sections into half moons. I slice mine into 1/2 inch, or slighter smaller, slices.
Place all of the apples into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Stir together the sliced apples, grated apple. and 1/4 cup flour in a large mixing bowl. If you want to use cinnamon, or apple pie spice, then stir it in here.
Step 3: Make the salted caramel sauce. This sauce is so simple but totally makes this recipe! Start with 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and a little less than 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over low until the butter and sugar have melted together. Then turn the heat up just a little and cook until it starts to become bubbly. Keep an eye on this sauce because it can burn very quickly. Also, stir it consistently to keep the sugar from sticking and burning on the bottom.
Once it starts to bubble then remove from the heat and add the milk and pure vanilla extract. Return the sauce to the heat and cook until it starts to bubble and thicken.
Step 4: Pour the sauce over the apples and stir until all the apples are coated with sauce.
Set the apple pie filling aside.
Step 5: Prepare the crust.
The Trader Joe’s crust comes between 2 plastic sheets. Roll the dough out in-between the sheets until it’s the size you need.
Press the dough into the pie dish.
Step 6: Pour the apple pie filling into the prepared pie crust. Again, you don’t want to fill the pie too high because then it’ll bubble over and cause your oven to smoke. Don’t ask me how I know 🙂 So keep the filling about an inch from the top. If you do add more then put a sheet pan under the pie to catch any drippings.
Step 7: Add the top crust. You can do all kinds of things here. Obviously, I was going for the rustic look. Hahaha…but seriously I’m not very artistic. This is a lattice pattern but you can simply put the whole second crust on top and cut a slit in the middle. I’ve even made with a crumbled topping. Do whatever you want.
After you put the crust on then brush it with an egg white wash, this makes it brown and pretty.
Step 8: Bake in a 425 oven for 60 minutes. After 30 minutes loosely cover the crust with foil to keep it from burning. The original recipe says to cover at 45 minutes but my pies never made it that long before the crust really started to brown. I cover it at 30 minutes and then uncover when there’s about 3-4 minutes left. This seems to be the perfect formula for my oven. Again, it depends on your oven, the crust used, and other factors so keep an eye on the pie as it cooks. If it looks like the crust might be cooking fast then cover with foil.
Step 9: Take the pie out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before slicing it up to serve. Doesn’t this look delicious?!
Slice it up and enjoy! This is one of my all-time favorite healthy apple pie recipes. It’s made with simple ingredients and is easy to prepare!
Healthy Apple Pie
- 1 lb 2 pie crusts Trader Joe's Pie Crusts, thawed
- 3 lbs Fuji Apples
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanila extract
- 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Grate enough apples (about 2) to get about 1 cup of grated apple. Cut the rest of the apples into 4 sections (throw out the core) and slice the sections into 1/2 inch half moons.
- In a large mixing bowl stir together the sliced apples, grated apple. and 1/4 cup flour. Set aside.
- In a medium pan, over low heat, stir together the brown sugar, salt, butter, and water. Cook until hot, bubbly, and starting to thicken. Stir the sauce consistently so the sugar doesn't stick and burn on the bottom.
- Once it bubbles remove from heat. Add milk and vanilla. Place back on the heat and cook until the sauce is bubble and thickened up. Pour over the apples and stir until all the apples are coated with sauce. Set aside.
- Roll the dough out in-between the plastic sheets until it's the size you need. Press the dough into a pie dish.
- Pour apple pie filling into the prepared pie shell. Place the second pie shell over the top into a lattice pattern or however you wish. Make sure the edges where the dough comes together is pinched and sealed.
- Mix together the egg white and water and then brush the egg wash over the dough.
- Bake the pie for 60 minutes. At 30 minutes place a piece of foil over top to prevent the crust from burning. Remove the foil with about 3-4 minutes left in cooking time.
- Remove from the oven and let the pie sit for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.